With the agri-food sector facing a chronic shortage of workers, New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership is backing a new campaign that aims to help keep the country fed during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.
The Feed the Nation initiative is calling on students and job seekers to consider taking vacant roles in the food supply chain, to help ensure the amazing produce grown across the region can be enjoyed by consumers across the UK.
Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia LEP, said: “Agri-food is a key pillar that underpins Norfolk and Suffolk’s economy, supporting more than 80,000 jobs and providing some of the UK’s best-loved food and drink.
“The sector’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak has been incredible, with growers and producers working around the clock to cope with increasing demand for eggs, meat, vegetables and other produce, both direct from the farm gate and delivered to people’s homes.
“This is testament to the innovative and hard-working agri-food community we have in the region. But they face a number a number of major challenges, not least the need for additional staff in the food supply chain to cope with this heightened demand.”
The Feed the Nation website provides a central portal for jobs with many of the biggest names in the food sector. New Anglia LEP has also set up a dedicated jobs page to showcase job roles which need filling in the region, featuring vacancies at producers such as Bernard Matthews and G’s Fresh, as well as supermarkets such as Tesco and Morrison’s.
“As harvest time for many key crops approaches, it is particularly critical to ensure we have enough people in the supply chain to pick, process and pack produce,” said Chris.
“Whether you are unemployed, have been recently made redundant or are a student, the agri-food sector would welcome your assistance as we work to keep the nation fed through this difficult time, and to help ensure we emerge from this crisis with a thriving, robust regional food economy.”